Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Hillary Spearman Interview
Photos 1-5: RX Muscle/Tyson Arts
Hillary Spearman just made her bikini debut at the Upstate Classic. She finished a respectable fourth place, but she is the competitor who caught my attention. I was very impressed with her stage presence and really thought her back stood out. I definitely see Hillary as someone with a very bright future in the sport and a name you will hear for a long time.
Q: Can you talk about how you got started in the gym?
A: I played softball in high school and once I graduated I needed something to keep me busy. The gym was almost an outlet for me with stress and work and school. I didn't have softball anymore so I started picking up weights in the gym and realized that was gonna be my new sanctuary.
Q: Was there something specific about it that you enjoyed?
A: Going up in weight. It is invigorating to get stronger and stronger and see differences in yourself and your weight and your training.
Q: What made you decide you wanted to try competing ?
A: I set a goal for myself a year ago. I was struggling with an eating disorder and I decided at that point that I would no longer deprive myself of nutrients and instead I wanted to see that there was a good mixture of food and exercise. I said if I got my eating disorder under control and gained confidence in myself that I would get on stage. Almost like if I had found I was beautiful and could have confidence in myself that I wanted to get on stage and see my improvements and see how far I had come.
Q: A lot of people don't understand bikini, did you have to explain to people it was fitness and not some T&A thing?
A: Oh my goodness, I have to do that on a daily basis. My parents still think that I am gonna walk through the door and be this huge, masculine Ms. Olympia type. I have to explain that there is a difference between each division. Each girl I give props to. As far as bikini, yes, everyone is like "that's so trashy, you're gonna be showing everybody everything." I have to explain that that is not what it is, I cant just get up on a stage in a bathing suit and compete in such a great division. It takes time and hard work and dedication. I have to ignore the blogs on-line because they upset me because people don't understand how hard of work we put into it and how hard it is to stay lean and fit to be able to be on stage. Not everybody will completely understand.
Q: Doing prep for the first time, what was the hardest part for you?
A: The hardest part definitely was just being able to go out with friends. Not all of them drink but a lot of them don't have healthy eating habits so I was eating healthy and they were snacking on whatever they wanted to. It was like "you're not eating enough." I was eating enough and was eating what I was supposed to but they don't understand that. So going out and being able to chillax and have a drink or two once in awhile, it was hard not being able to do that.
Q: Right before going on stage that first time, were you nervous at all?
A: Yes, surprisingly. I love being the center of attention. I am the youngest of two girls and growing up I just loved being the center of attention. Getting on stage is never a problem for me except this past show. I just froze up a bit, but I tried to keep my cool the best I could.
Q: Was there anything surprising about competing to you?
A: Yes definitely! I went into this a very conservative person, not knowing what to expect. I would say the spray-tan experience was pretty eye-opening. That took me by surprise. Everyone was so open and comfortable around each other. Hair and make-up was awesome, girls would hand over any make-up you needed or curl your hair in a heartbeat. I had to be willing to be comfortable with everybody, but at the same time you build friendships that you cant find off stage.
Q: Some people say they expect everyone to be catty, where you surprised that they weren't?
A: I have two friends who competed before me and they told me "you are gonna make friends for a lifetime backstage, all the girls are super nice." I had a heads up that everyone was gonna be nice, I didn't have any negative worries.
Q: You took fourth at the Upstate Classic, how happy were you with what you brought to the stage?
A: I was happy. I felt like my appearance was beyond what I thought it could be. I am very hard on myself and lack confidence sometimes, but I was very proud of the way I looked. I knew I worked hard and gave all I could. My posing was off and I feel it brought me down a great deal, but I can go back and work on that.
Q: You mention lacking confidence, but on-stage you actually looked really confidence, so was that basically a really good acting job?
A: Yes, definitely! It might be half and half. Once you see yourself the day of the show, you almost a completely difference person. Everyone ask me "let me see your abs, let me see your abs." I am like "listen, those abs you see in the pictures are only there for a couple days." You wake up that morning and are in tip top shape, it is hard not to have confidence when you see yourself at your peak, but leading up to it, I did lack confidence a great deal.
Q: You mentioned not being happy with your posing, a lot of people don't realize how hard that is, were you surprised?
A: Yes! You can practice over and over and over in front of a mirror and once you are on stage it is nothing like posing practice. Your nerves are shot. Once you are being judged your nerves go haywire, it is hard to hold poses, it is hard to hold a smile on your face for so long. It is crucial but at the same time, you never realize how hard it is to hold a pose until you get a stage.
Q: When are you competing next?
A: I have a show in four days. It is peak week for me.
Q: Not a lot of time, but from last show were do you want to be better?
A: My main focus this time is get my posing down and I went in a little lean the last one so I tried to look a little fuller this time. Being so small, I don't have the big booty and broad shoulders like the other girls did so I tried to work on that the last four weeks.
Q: Is the plan to stick with bikini or would you consider figure at some point?
A: I have been told I should do figure. I don't know if I have the body-type to build as much muscle mass as the other girls. I don't know, I am a very random person, so that might change next year.
Q: Is fitness modeling something that interests you?
A: I don't think there is a girl who wakes up in the morning and says "you know what? I don't wanna do fitness modeling." Any girl that does fitness, I would think that would be a huge goal for them. That would make me the happiest girl ever.
Q: When you are at the gym, do you get the stares and attention from people?
A: I do. I do my cardio in the morning and train at night. A lot of the older men that workout in the morning love to come chit chat. I find it flattering but during fasted cardio it gets kind of hard to be super nice.
Q: If you could spend a day training with someone you have never trained with before, who would it be?
A: Definitely Jillian Michaels. She seems like such a hard-ass on t.v. that I would love to see if she could put me to the test.
Q: Anyone you want to thank?
A: My trainer Jeremy Mize, he has helped me so much and is a constant encouragement. My boyfriend, he has put up with two peak weeks and carb depleting and water loading and has been a saint. Also God, without God there is no way I could have done this. There is nothing I could say or do to repay God for getting me from where I was to where I am no.